La Brassiere (2001)
(Cheut Sai Ho Bra)


Louis Koo
Lau Ching-Wan
Carina Lau
Gigi Leung

Directed by Patrick Leung


Samantha (Carina Lau), a high-level executive at the Hong Kong division of a Japanese bra manufacturer, is ordered by her superiors to hire some men to join the design team, thereby breaking a tradition of having only women design the undergarments. She is adamantly against the decision but is told that it is part of a strategy to design the perfect bra - and who better to know what a perfect bra would be than men since all they do is look in that region anyway?

After a series of hilarious interviews with prospects (including a fetishist), Samantha decides on two men - Johnny (Lau Ching-Wan), a men's briefs designer, and Wayne (Louis Koo), who apparently doesn't do anything but mack the ladies.

The two men then set their sights on trying to score on the lovely ladies of the firm, much to the dismay of Samantha and Lena (Gigi Leung), the division's top designer. However, as the deadline for the project fast approaches, the two men begin to learn more about women and put that knowledge towards designing the perfect bra.

What will I like about this film?

It is a rather funny movie as the two chauvinist men begin to learn about the emotions of women and slowly drop their stupid ways. One scene has each of them putting on a bra with heavy water balloons underneath and walking with them on all day so they could understand why women need a good bra to support the weight. You could see that everyone had a ball filming that scene as nobody could keep a straight face - they ended up using a take of everyone laughing anyway.

With Samantha and Lena eventually teaching the men a lesson in womanhood and then falling for them, the film also appeals to the romantic.

Plus, there are plenty of scenes of great looking women in lingerie.

What will I not like about this film?

Well, the chauvinist attitudes of Johnny and Wayne are rather silly as they are stereotypical and it kind of wears thin after a while. Also, you can see from a mile away that they are going to learn something in the end.

Plus, there are probably too many scenes of great looking women in lingerie. In fact, there is one scene where both Jonny and Wayne realize that they can see all women in their lingerie - co-workers, strangers on the street, etc. According to the story, this was supposed to represent the fact that they've finally understood how different bra designs fit different breast sizes. Unfortunately, it just provided audience members a good excuse to gawk at women in lingerie.

Finally (and this is a nitpick), I found it bizarre when the brassiere firm's Japanese executives were speaking Japanese to Samantha and she would respond in Cantonese - yet everyone would understand one another. Have the Japanese developed a Universal Translator? Geez, given all the gadgets that they have there, I wouldn't be surprised.

Overall Rating?

A mildly amusing film but that's all - like a good bender, you'll forget most of it the next morning. The film was a big success in Hong Kong and a sequel was released this year (Mighty Baby). A knockoff of the film was also made called Beauty and the Breast (all about the perfect breast enhancement medications), starring Francis Ng and Daniel Wu.

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